Plain Language Summary: Increasing Caregiver Awareness: Helping Identify Anxiety and Depression in Individuals with Down Syndrome
Down syndrome is a disorder that occurs in about 1 in 700 people. People with Down syndrome have unique problems that can contribute to mental health issues throughout their lives.
Anxiety and depression are the most common emotional problems someone with Down syndrome might experience. Anxiety is when you worry or have fear. Depression is when you have feelings of sadness, guilt, and worthlessness. It can be difficult for someone with Down syndrome to talk about their feelings. Their caregiver and/or family should look for changes in their behavior to see if there are signs of anxiety or depression, rather than relying on verbal communication.
For children, these signs can be: acting out, ignoring friends, not playing as much, no longer liking favorite things
For teens and young adults, these signs can be: aggression, fidgeting, no longer liking favorite things, ignoring friends, sadness
For older adults, these signs can be: crying, losing weight, difficulty sleeping, aggression, no longer taking care of themselves
If you are a caregiver or family member of someone with Down syndrome, then you should be aware of these signs. It’s important to notice changes from someone’s normal behavior and get help from a professional if you’re worried about your loved one.